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Minnesota Wild sign head coach Mike Yeo to multiyear extension

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

The Wild's record has improved in each of Mike Yeo's three seasons. (USATSI)
The Wild's record has improved in each of Mike Yeo's three seasons. (USATSI)

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After guiding the Minnesota Wild to back-to-back playoff appearances and a series win this year, head coach Mike Yeo has been signed to a "multiyear extension," according to the club.

Yeo has been with the organization for the past four seasons, starting as the club's AHL head coach in 2010-11 before being promoted to the top job with the big club in 2011-12.

His three campaigns in Minnesota have had their ups and downs, but after getting past the Colorado Avalanche in the first round this year, it seems the club is headed in the right direction. That was Minnesota's first playoff series win since 2003.

Yeo was often mentioned as a head coach on the hot seat this year, but helped the Wild reach the playoffs with a 43-27-12 record this season. Yeo has a .552 winning percentage with a 104-82-26 record over the last three years.

"Mike has done a very good job the last three seasons as our head coach and we look forward to his leadership going forward," Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said in a released statement.

With stars Zach Parise and Ryan Suter locked up long-term and a cavalcade of young players growing into large roles with the team, stability at the coaching position could be a good thing. Yeo has a deep background at the AHL level, which means he knows how to help those young guys develop on the job.

He was part of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Stanley Cup team as an assistant coach in 2009 and had been part of that organization for more than a decade. Yeo started with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL in 2000, before being promoted to an assistant job in 2005. He remained with the Penguins until 2010, when he was hired by the Wild to lead their AHL affiliate.

The Wild have a bright future. Their goaltending situation is going to need some considerable attention, but there's a lot to like about this club. The Wild are expected to pursue free-agent forward Thomas Vanek and could have a formidable offensive attack next season.

Yeo did a nice job this year, despite a lot of pressure, and managed to help the organization take a step forward. Even if extensions don't often grant lock-tight job security, it does reward good work and Yeo at least deserved that.

Yeo has managed some tough situations and a restructured lineup, but got a lot out of what he had in Minnesota this year. With those big-money contracts for Parise and Suter and a potential splash in free agency this year, the Wild will be expecting even more over the life of this contract.

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